Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm the gingerbread man!

If you ever want to feel immediately better about yourself, find out you have anemia and then take iron supplements for a week.


Seriously.

It's like a miracle cure. For the whole month of December, I felt like a useless lump. Every day I had to make a choice between saving my energy to clean the house or to make dinner, but no way could I do both in one day.

Then I got the call. "Hi, you failed your glucose test. You must be of below-average intelligence. You'll need to do a three hour fasting test and get eight thousand blood draws. That's the bad news."

Me: Urmph.

"The good news is you have anemia! When you come into the office next, you get a toaster and we mock you marginally less during your weigh-in."

But they were right, it WAS good news. It turns out that even though I wasn't driven to eat Borax or dirt or whatever it is an iron deficiency can make you do, taking iron has stopped the exhaustion. After about a week of iron enriched cereal and an iron tablet washed down with orange juice, operating at a normal level feels like an entirely new lease on life.

Not only do I clean my house AND make dinner all in the same day (I KNOW!) but I've gone from thinking I'm easily as close to a slug as a human being can get to thinking I might actually be kind of a decent mom and wife. In fact, each day as this realization dawns anew, I reward myself with chocolate. My toddler is snapping his three day streak in pajamas. Chocolate! Hey, I cleaned the living room before 5 p.m. Chocolate! I played with my toddler for a twenty minute stretch. Chocolate! I put my dish in the dishwasher as soon as I was done with it. Chocolate!

So it's been good. Granted, I may have undone my passing grade on the three hour glucose test with all the chocolate but they'll never know unless they take my blood again and they'll have to catch me first. (Although all the chocolate is making it a little harder for me to run. Well, that and um, I'm measurably less aerodynamic than usual right now.) But now that I have stomped on anemia and beaten it into submission, I have the energy to exercise so maybe I'll lace up my cross trainers and condition to outrun even the fastest phlebotomist.

They'll never catch me. Mwah hah hah hah!

27 comments:

MommyJ said...

Dude. Is it wrong that I found myself wishing that I had anemia too? Cause that might explain a lot around here.

Glad you're feeling better.

Lara said...

I get anemia when pregnant and it is pretty amazing what the darn iron supplements can do!

So happy you're off and running again!

Susan said...

Sorry about your anemia but glad you found out. I was anemic with the last baby and never found out until delivery where they proceeded to tell me my platelet count was to low for an epidural. It explained the ten pound bags of ice I was going through every two days because that's all I wanted to eat. (You eat ice when you're anemic, Melanie). Happy pregnancy to you.

Becca said...

Does it make you want to eat red meat? Like... a LOT? That's what it did to me. I went with it. Mmmm. Steak.

Migillicutty said...

Yay! Chocolate and iron tablets can fix ANYTHING!!

Kazzy said...

First off...don't you just love the word phlebotomist?

I was anemic as a kid, and hated the supplements I had to take, but as an adult whenever I have had iron deficits I am amazed at how much better I feel once I level off. I am so glad you will get some energy back!

Kristina P. said...

This totally reminded me to call my GI specialist and get my lab results. Thanks!!

And I am NOT anemic, nor do I have Celiacs, but I might need a scope. :(

Sarah M Eden said...

So glad you're feeling better!! Psssttt... writing a blog post should be on that "Accomplishments That Deserve Chocolate" list of yours.

DeNae said...

So, have you had a BM since all this celebrating started? I'm just saying...iron supplements were better that a giant cork for yours truly.

And I'm always anemic. Permanently. They won't let me donate blood or anything.

Maybe this is why I sparkle in sunlight and am a total bat every night...

Kimberly said...

Anemia runs in my family but I'm the only woman who does NOT have it. So unfair. My mum actually said to me once, "There's nothing medically wrong with you. You're just a lazy slug." She said it with love though. Really.

So glad that they caught it so you can feel like you again!

LisAway said...

Oh! How lovely to have a solution to a problem that you didn't know was just a symptom! Run, run, run,as fast as you can!!

Don said...

It's amazing how broken and worthless I made myself feel when my energy was at rock bottom, and how easy the fix was once the Dr. discovered low levels of a few key chemicals and prescribed replacements.

It's a world of difference. So glad you've found the cause and a good fix!

wonder woman said...

Hmm. Maybe the husband needs some blood work done. He might be anemic. Or maybe he just needs to start eating more than 1000 calories a day. Maybe I should just buy iron pills and crush them in his iron-fortified orange juice. Some food for thought.

It's awesome that you found an actual reason for the exhaustion and a cure that works!!!!

Karen said...

I thought I might be anemic. Turns out I was just really lazy.

Carolyn V. said...

I had anemia with my last baby. It just about did me in. I was so glad to get the iron.

Yay for iron. So glad you are doing better. =)

Melinda said...

I agree with DeNae, iron makes me constipated, and I'm always anemic! It sucks. I'm glad you're feeling more useful, I would love to be feeling like that right now!

stewbert said...

oh my gosh. that makes me wonder if I'm a slug because I have anemia too (totally possible, meat makes me ill this pregnancy), OR if I'm a slug because I'm fat and lazy.

L.T. Elliot said...

I had anemia during and after my pregnancy and it IS amazing what iron can do for you. I kind of wish I was anemic now.

Becky said...

I want an anemia excuse! Sadly, I'm just sluggish and tired and cranky all on my own. Maybe it's genetic??

Terresa said...

Anemia is a friend of mine, too.

I had it at age 23 (15 some odd years ago) at the beginning of my mission to Uruguay. Although back in those days, the iron pills I took were small and red and made me very constipated.

Hope the pills have improved since then! Power to the pill!

Happy Mom said...

Glad you've got some energy.

When talking with my doctor/whining about pregnancies, he would generally tell me that it was normal (which means suck it up and quit complaining). I always wished he would tell me that this wasn't normal and that if we did A it would go away.

Enjoy your energy. This too shall pass!

(Fun blog!)

Amber Lynae said...

You have me smiling. I love the way you look at things and share them. I'm glad that you got your anemia all straighten. And you just eat that chocolate and keep running. :)

Chantele said...

How funny! I think we are due at about the same time, and I just found out I have anemia too! I have been extremely tired, and will start my iron supplements today. Let's hope they work!!

Dedee said...

I don't exactly have anemia, but I'm very close. Now I want iron, because it really does help!

And you just made me laugh my head off. You are feeling better!

wendy said...

Well, it's good to know what ails ya.
Iron and Chocolate --the miracle cures eh

Annette Lyon said...

Glad you're feeling better!

What sucks is when you're an energy-less blob, take iron, and it does nothing.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I bet I'm anemic. Seriously. And dehydrated and undernourished, but overfed.

(I'm so proud of myself right now.)